Organisational justice

EDITORIALS
888
Organisational justice
.......................................................................................
Psychosocial work environment and
health: new evidence
Johannes Siegrist
...................................................................................
‘‘New’’ occupational health research for science and policy
D
espite profound changes in modern working life occupational
health research has maintained a
rather narrow view of its topic, dealing
almost exclusively with physical, chemical, or otherwise material conditions.1 2 In view of a substantial body
of scientific evidence of adverse effects
on health produced by a stressful
psychosocial work environment this
restriction is no longer justified.3 4 The
term ‘‘psychosocial work environment’’
has been introduced to delineate the
range of sociostructural work related
opportunities that is available to an
individual person to meet his or her
needs of wellbeing, productivity, and
positive self experience.5 Two aspects of
positive self experience are of particular
importance for wellbeing and health at
work: self efficacy and self esteem.
The demand-control model of work
related stress posits that job tasks
characterised by high psychological
demands in combination with a low
level of decision latitude or task control
evoke recurrent stress reactions by
suppressing positive experiences of self
efficacy.6 A complementary model of an
adverse psychosocial work environment,
effort-reward imbalance, is based on the
notion of reciprocity of work contracts
where effort at work is reciprocated by
socially defined rewards that include
money, esteem, and status in terms of
promotion prospects and job security.7
Failed contractual reciprocity (an imbalance between high efforts and low
rewards at work) adversely affects self
esteem and elicits longlasting stress
reactions. Both models were shown to
predict a range of stress related diseases
in employed people.3–8
New results from the Whitehall II
study of British civil servants published
in this issue suggest that health adverse
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effects of low self esteem at work are
not restricted to contractual unfairness
but may extend to less specific experiences of relational injustice at work.9
The main findings of this study show
that employees who suffer from inappropriate behaviour of their superiors
(relational injustice) are at increased
risk of poor self rated health at two
subsequent time intervals (after three
and six years on average). Moreover,
declining organisational justice over
time increases the risk of poor health
whereas an improvement in justice
increases their perceived health. These
results give further support to the
notion of a health adverse or health
promoting psychosocial work environment. In policy terms, they broaden the
focus of workplace health intervention
to include justice in managerial treatment.
Despite these merits the conclusions
of the paper by Kivimäki et al9 deserve
some caution. The obvious limitations of
this study are mainly attributable to a
lack of externally assessed health measures, the use of a proxy measure of
organisational justice, and somewhat
inconsistent gender specific results.
Moreover, the odds ratios of poor self
rated health are comparatively modest,
ranging from 1.12 to 1.53 in the fully
adjusted models. A further unresolved
question concerns the role of socioeconomic status in this analysis.
Organisational injustice and poor self
rated health were both found to be more
prevalent in lower status civil servants.
Rather than adjusting for rank an
analytical strategy seems promising that
explores the mediating or modifying
role of organisational justice in this
context. Similarly, authors adjusted
the effects of relational justice on health
for the two work stress models,
demand-control
and
effort-reward
imbalance. While this is an instructive
approach an analysis of combined
effects of the models under study is
equally important.
On conceptual and methodological
grounds, the analysis of change of
exposure over time and its association
with change of health must be considered a special strength of this study. It is
now evident that occupational stress
research needs to move beyond a single
(mostly baseline) assessment of occupational exposure to study its dynamics
over time. Recent findings from both
work stress models mentioned above
support this conclusion.4 5 In summary,
it is hoped that innovative contributions
such as this paper from the Whitehall II
research team strengthen the impact of
‘‘new’’ occupational health research for
science and policy.
J Epidemiol Community Health 2004;58:888.
doi: 10.1136/jech.2004.023218
Correspondence to: Professor J Siegrist,
University of Dusseldorf, Institute for Medical
Sociology, Dusseldorf, Germany D-40001;
[email protected]
Funding: none.
Conflicts of interest: none declared.
REFERENCES
1 Cherermisinoff PM. Encyclopaedia of
environmental control technology. Houston: Gulf
Publishing, 1994.
2 Davey Smith G, Lynch JW. Socioeconomic
differentials. In: Kuh D, Ben-Shlomo Y, eds. A
lifecourse approach to chronic disease
epidemiology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2004.
3 Stansfeld S, Marmot M. Stress and the heart.
London: BMJ Books, 2002.
4 Belkic KL, Landsbergis PA, Schnall PL, et al. Is job
strain a major source of cardiovascular disease
risk? Scand J Work Environ Health
2004;30:85–128.
5 Siegrist J, Marmot M. Health inequalities and the
psychosocial environment—two scientific
challenges. Soc Sci Med 2004;58:1463–73.
6 Karasek R, Theorell T. Healthy work. Stress,
productivity, and the reconstruction of working
life. New York: Basic Books, 1990.
7 Siegrist J. Effort-reward imbalance at work and
health. In: Perrewe P, Ganster D, eds. Research in
occupational stress and well being, historical and
current perspectives on stress and health. New
York: JAI Elsevier, 2002:261–91.
8 Kivimäki M, Leino-Arjas AP, Luukkonen R, et al.
Work stress and risk of cardiovascular mortality:
Prospective cohort study of industrial employees.
BMJ 2002;325:857–60.
9 Kivimäki M, Ferrie JE, Head J, et al.
Organisational justice and change in justice as
predictors of employee health: the Whitehall II
study. J Epidemiol Community Health
2004;58:931–7.
EDITORIALS
889
Sexual health
.......................................................................................
The promiscuous 10%?
Mark A Bellis, Karen Hughes, John R Ashton
...................................................................................
A high price is paid by ignoring the needs of the promiscuous
10%
W
ith few exceptions every month
uncovers more evidence of the
declining sexual health of the
UK population.1 2 Levels of chlamydia
have more than doubled in the past 10
years,1 nearly forgotten infections such
as syphilis have returned to plague new
generations3 and overall, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are higher than
at any time since the National Health
Service began in 1948.4 Furthermore,
while some reductions have been made
in teenage pregnancy rates, these have
been modest and still leave the UK with
one of the highest rates in Europe.5 By
and large our attempts to avoid a sexual
health crisis and, more recently, to
manage it have failed.
At the core of this crisis is an
unwillingness to engage with the ‘‘promiscuous’’ 10%; a significant group of
people who have multiple sexual partners, may have started sex early in life,
and may even access paid sex and
pornography. For instance, one in ten
young people have had sex at 14 or
younger.6 Such individuals who have
sex at an earlier age are less likely to use
condoms at sexual initiation, are more
likely to become pregnant earlier,6 and
accumulate more sexual partners per
year.7 Changing their behaviour is central to improving sexual health but these
individuals are rarely the principal consideration when developing interventions. For instance, school based sex
education is the main source of information on sex issues for young people.6
Evidence suggests that early sex education does not encourage early sexual
activity8 but is central to young people
obtaining appropriate information on
sex, sexual health and relationships
along with the skills required to manage
these.9 However, with the exception of
some biological details, sex education
effectively remains outside of the
national curriculum for England.
Decisions on when, what, and how
much sex education (if any) is delivered
are made largely within each school.
Thus, at national levels the choice to
guarantee the delivery of high quality
sex education is evaded, often to avoid
offence to a sensitive but vocal minority.
Equally at a local level the same
individuals steer teachers and governors
away from the needs of the promiscuous
10% and paradoxically towards the
wishes of those relatively unaffected by
the sexual health crisis. The result can
be little or irrelevant sex education,
delivered by embarrassed teachers after
many children have become sexually active.
The irony of sexual health interventions accommodating those least
affected, rather than those most at risk,
continues outside of schools. Among UK
adults, around one in ten women have
had at least two sexual partners concurrently in the past 12 months and for
men this rises to nearly one in eight.10
Such behaviour is regularly the focus of
television, film, and other forms of
media content but in general without
reference to sexual health. In the United
States, (a source of broadcast content
for many countries), 64% of general
television programmes contain some
form of sexual activity, yet just 15%
deal with sexual health.11 Equally in the
UK, adverts use strong sexual imagery
to sell everything from alcohol to cars.
However, the condom is practically
never seen unwrapped by a well toned
man or a half naked woman.12 Despite
around half of the sexually active adult
population using them,13 portrayals of
condoms remain limited to the cold or
the comedic. Overall, adverts and programmes seem unwilling to deal with
sexual health issues. Those that try
often suffer a backlash from the vocal
minority who seem accepting of widespread sexual innuendo but critical of
media addressing sexual health through
the same mechanisms. Recently, for
example, in the UK a billboard advertisement for Durex used inflated condoms to spell out the words Roger More
and was banned after just a few
complaints.14 However, advertising regulations15 should only prevent messages
or images that may cause serious or
widespread offence. Overall, UK advertising and programme content avoid
condoms, negotiation of safe sex, and
other aspects of sexual health. In doing
so they may reduce complaints from the
more sensitive but only at the expense
of safer sex featuring as a facet of
promiscuous behaviour.
The results of not engaging the promiscuous now include 10% of sexually
active UK adults having had a sexually
transmitted infection and around 13%
of the general population having visited
a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.16
Among those with higher numbers of
sexual partners the figures are even
worse with over one in five individuals
who have had 10 or more sexual partners having been to a GUM clinic.17
In fact, sexual health services, in
particular GUM services, may be the
first place promiscuous individuals
receive information they regard as relevant. All too often this comes after they
have been infected with a STI or found
themselves unintentionally pregnant.
However, GUM clinics in the UK remain
grossly under-resourced to work with
these individuals, to change their sexual
practice, and to explore the infection
status and sexual practice of their contacts.18 As a result the same individuals
return for treatment with new infections often after acquiring new unprotected sexual contacts.19 Thus, over three
quarters of GUM attendees in London
have had a previous STI20 and almost a
quarter of 12 to 15 year olds presenting
at GUM clinics with gonorrhoea return
to services with another episode of the
disease within 12 months.18
It seems that even in specialist settings there is not enough time and
resource to meet the needs of the 10%
and denigrating opinion about their
behaviour makes them unlikely to complain publicly. Consequently, increasing
waiting lists at GUM services mean that
in the UK nearly half of STIs are now
first diagnosed in primary care.21
However, it is at least questionable
how well general practitioners are prepared to tackle the needs of the promiscuous 10%, to discuss their sexual
practice, and advise on protecting their
own and their partners’ sexual health.22
For instance, nearly 5% of adult males in
the UK have paid for sex10 and both
prostitutes and clients are more likely to
have high numbers of sexual partners
and be at heightened risk of STIs.23 24
Discussion of such risk taking is unlikely as personal conflicts between generations, sexualities, and even religious
beliefs inhibit communication not just
in schools and the media but also
between health professionals and the
more promiscuous. As a result issues
such as prostitution are addressed largely as judicial problems instead of as
public health concerns.
The promiscuous 10% could access
sexual health information on the internet. The medium is already strongly
associated with sex and in just one
month almost a quarter of all home
internet users in the UK will access
pornography, with a quarter of these
being students.25 Furthermore, those
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EDITORIALS
890
using the medium to find sexual partners take more sexual risks26 and, in the
case of young people, start sex earlier.27
Many good sexual health sites are
already available. However for the
young, protective filters on home computers sensibly bar access to pornography but incidentally often bar access to
safer sex sites as well.28 Parents can
change web browsers to allow access to
safe sex sites but this requires a sexual
health dialogue between parent and
child. All too often this dialogue is absent
especially for those who have started sex
or even an interest in sex early.6
In reality of course there is no specific
promiscuous 10% as many individuals
move in and out of polygamy, serial
monogamy, long term monogamy, and
even abstinence. However, meeting the
needs of the most sexually active,
whatever the terminology, lies in giving
more consideration to their needs when
planning
educational
curriculums,
media campaigns, and health interventions. With some areas seeing one in ten
young people with a STI29 perhaps a
greater level of statutory, pertinent, and
timely sex education is now required
despite the complaints of a few. More
realistic portrayals of sex, condom use,
and safer sex practice in the media may
again upset a few but may also help
counter the sexual innuendo that currently promotes promiscuity but provides no hint of safe sex behaviour.
Perhaps even the occasional advert could
suggest that condoms, not just aftershave or the right jeans, may help improve your sex life. The price for this will
undoubtedly be complaints from a few
individuals who find open discussion of
sex and sexuality difficult to condone.
However, with spiralling numbers of
STIs and continuing unwanted pregnancies the price of ignoring the needs of the
promiscuous 10% will be far greater.
J Epidemiol Community Health
2004;58:889–890.
doi: 10.1136/jech.2004.027847
......................
Authors’ affiliations
M A Bellis, K Hughes, Centre for Public
Health, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
J R Ashton, Government Office North West,
UK
Correspondence to: Professor M A Bellis,
Director, Centre for Public Health, Liverpool
John Moores University, 8 Marybone, Liverpool
L3 2AP, UK; [email protected]
Accepted for publication 2 August 2004
Funding: none.
Conflicts of interest: none declared.
REFERENCES
1 Health Protection Agency. Epidemiological
data—sexually transmitted infections. London,
Health Protection Agency, 2004 (http://
www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/
hiv_and_sti/epidemiology/sti_data.htm).
2 Donaldson L. Health check on the state of public
health: annual report of the Chief Medical Officer
2003. London: Department of Health, 2004.
3 Bellis MA, Cook P, Clark P, et al. Re-emerging
syphilis in gay men: a case-control study of
behavioural risk factors and HIV status.
J Epidemiol Community Health 2002;56:235–6.
4 Terrence Higgins Trust. Shifting the balance of
power in the NHS: modernising HIV and sexual
health services. London: Terrence Higgins Trust,
2002.
5 UNICEF. A league table of teenage births in rich
nations, Innocenti Report Card no 3. Florence:
Unicef, 2001.
6 Wellings K, Nanchahal K, Macdowall W, et al.
Sexual behaviour in Britain: early heterosexual
experience. Lancet 2001;358:1843–50.
7 Bellis MA, Hughes K. Sexual behaviour—
European perspectives on the role of substance
use. In: Calafat A, Fernandez C, Juan M, et al.
Enjoying the nightlife in Europe—the role of
moderation. Valencia: IREFREA, 2003.
8 Dickson R, Fuller D, Eastwood A, et al. Preventing
and reducing the adverse effects of unintended
teenage pregnancies. Effective Health Care
Bulletin 1997;3:1–12.
9 House of Commons Health Committee. Sexual
health. Third report of session 2002–03. London:
The Stationery Office, 2003.
10 Johnson AM, Mercer CH, Erens B, et al. Sexual
behaviour in Britain: partnerships, practices, and
HIV risk behaviours. Lancet 2001;358:1835–42.
11 Kunkel D, Biely E, Eyal K, et al. Sex on TV 3:
a biennial report to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Santa Barbara: University of California, 2003.
12 Bellis MA, Ashton JR. The sexual health of boys
and men. BMJ 2000;320:643.
13 National Statistics. Contraception and sexual health
2002. London: Department of Health, 2003.
Iraq
.......................................................................................
Rebuilding health care in Iraq
Andrew S Furber, Paul Johnstone
...................................................................................
Advocacy and technical support required to support professional
colleagues in Iraq
T
he effects of three wars within 25
years,1 a decade of international
sanctions,2 and a brutal regime have
had tragic consequences on Iraq’s health
www.jech.com
system and on the health of the Iraqi
people.3 While the scale of these problems is becoming clearer, it has been
difficult in the current security situation
14 BBC. ‘Offensive’ condom ad banned, 21 May
2003.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/
3046247.stm(accessed 20 Nov 2003).
15 Committee of Advertising Practice. The British
code of advertising, sales promotion and direct
marketing. London: Committee of Advertising
Practice, 2003.
16 Fenton KA, Korovessis C, Johnson AM, et al.
Sexual behaviour in Britain: reported sexually
transmitted infections and prevalent genital
Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Lancet
2001;358:1851–4.
17 Johnson AM, Wadsworth J, Wellings K, et al.
Sexual attitudes and lifestyles. Oxford: Blackwell
Scientific, 1994.
18 PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance
Centre. Sexual health in Britain: recent changes in
high-risk sexual behaviours and the epidemiology
of sexually transmitted infections including HIV.
London: PHLS Communicable Disease
Surveillance Centre, 2002.
19 Hughes G, Brady AR, Catchpole MA, et al.
Characteristics of those who repeatedly acquire
sexually transmitted infections: a retrospective
cohort study of attendees at three urban sexually
transmitted disease clinics in England. Sex Transm
Dis 2001;28:379–86.
20 Filipe EM, Strauss SB, Beck EJ, et al. Sexual
behaviour among London GUM clinic attenders:
implications for HIV education. Int J STD AIDS
1994;5:346–52.
21 Cassell JA, Brook MG, Mercer CH, et al. Treating
sexually transmitted infections in primary care: a
missed opportunity? Sex Transm Infect
2003;79:134–6.
22 Stead ML, Brown JM, Fallowfield L, et al. Lack of
communication between healthcare professionals
and women with ovarian cancer about sexual
issues. Br J Cancer 2003;10:666–71.
23 Moore S. Characteristics, attitudes and risk
behaviours of Australian men who visit female sex
workers. Venereology 1999;12:7–14.
24 Coughlan E, Mindel A, Estcourt CS. Male clients
of female commercial sex workers: HIV, STDs and
risk behaviour. Int J STD AIDS 2001;12:665–9.
25 BBC. Britons drawn to online porn, 10 Aug
2001.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/
1484003.stm (accessed 1 Aug 2004).
26 Benotsch EG, Kalichman S, Cage M. Men who
have met sexual partners via the Internet:
prevalence, predictors, and implications for HIV
prevention. Arch Sex Behav 2002;31:177–83.
27 McFarlane M, Bull SS, Rietmeijer CA. Young
adults on the internet: risk behaviors for sexually
transmitted diseases and HIV. J Adolesc Health
2002;31:11–16.
28 Hughes K, Bellis MA, Tocque K. Information and
communications technologies in public health:
tackling health and digital inequalities in the
information age. Liverpool: Centre for Public
Health, Liverpool John Moores University, 2002.
29 Department of Health. A pilot study of
opportunistic screening for Chlaymdia
trachomatis infection in England (1999–2000).
London: Department of Health, 2002.
to know how best to respond to requests
for help.
A workshop organised by the
International Committee of the Faculty
of Public Health (FPH) in November
2003 has now addressed this very issue.4
This paper describes the health service
needs presented at the workshop by
representatives from the Department
for International Development (DFID),
World Health Organisation (WHO),
International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and, most importantly, Iraq’s Ministry of Health. We
will also consider current responses
and how professional public health
bodies from around the world might
EDITORIALS
contribute to the development of Iraq’s
health sector.
The priority health service needs of
Iraq where professional public health
organisations could usefully contribute
fall into four broad areas: communicable diseases, primary care development, health management, and public
health training. These areas were identified as being of key importance by the
participants at the workshop with
recent experience in Iraq and concur
with the assessment of the Iraqi
Ministry of Health5 6 and findings of
the donor meeting in Madrid.7
The potential for the outbreak of
infectious diseases is clear and immediate. The cold chain for the delivery of
vaccines has broken down in many parts
of the country.8 Primary care facilities
are often not administering the immunisation programme in an efficient
manner—and even where facilities are
functional staffing remains variable.9
Such disruption will also affect other
communicable disease control programmes such as that for tuberculosis.
Water supply and sanitation are poor,
especially in parts of the country
where fighting was the fiercest, resulting in episodes of watery and bloody
diarrhoea. The incidence of diarrhoeal
disease has been reported to have
doubled in some areas of the country.10
The causes of these cases are often
unknown as laboratory facilities are still
not functioning in a way that permits
microbiological diagnosis. Laboratories
have suffered from systematic looting
and therefore lack basic equipment.
Clinical reporting from primary care
facilities remains inadequate to properly
monitor patterns of infectious disease.
However, despite all this there have
been no major outbreaks of infectious
disease reported, according to Tim
Healing, a microbiologist working for
WHO. This is probably attributable to
the basic clinical skills of Iraqi healthcare workers and the prioritisation of
communicable disease control by NGOs
and WHO. While a public health catastrophe has thus far been averted, the
dangerous conditions still exist that
would allow for serious outbreaks of
communicable disease.
While primary care facilities are
improving, it is clear that many
remained poorly staffed and inadequately equipped. At the FPH workshop,
Linda Doull, Health Advisor from the
INGO Merlin, described their programme for the re-establishment of
primary care facilities. While this has
had some success (showing that it
remains possible to see improvement
even in difficult security situations),
there is still a long way to go. Merlin
has been able to distribute emergency
891
health kits, water storage equipment,
chlorine tablets, and health promotion
leaflets.10 Although such process indicators are encouraging, outcomes are more
difficult to measure. Good outcomes
from such programmes will be reduced
by the on-going security problems. Many
parts of the country do not have similar
primary care support programmes.
Retaining the central role of primary
care is part of the challenge of managing
Iraq’s health system.11 A health system
based on primary health care remains
an effective approach in resource constrained settings.12 The Ministry of
Health in Iraq has yet to set a vision
for the future of the country’s health
system, according to Jürgen Schmidt,
Health Advisor with DFID. While broad
targets have been set in terms of, for
example, electricity and water supply, it
seems that no objectives have been set
for reconstruction within the health
sector. This leads to reluctance from
the donors to become involved in long
term investment in this sector and is
compounded by weak management
capacity within Iraq, both at central
and governerate levels.*
The causes of this lack of management capacity are complex, but it is
clear that there is a key training need11
and a priority area identified by WHO.13
The effects of the wars, the sanctions,
and the restrictive regime have meant
that most health administrators and
healthcare workers who have remained
within the country have had little
professional development over the past
15 years or so.14 Medical libraries, where
they still exist, are stocked with out of
date journals and text books. Internet
access remains poor for most health
professionals resulting in limited access
to online resources. Postal and courier
services are either unreliable or absent
making it difficult to mail resources.
Providing training within the country
currently represents a significant security risk for both trainer and trainee.15
While there are important training
needs within all specialist areas, it is
clear that during a postwar period of
development and investment the need
for skills in public health and health
systems management are particularly
urgent. Another pressing need is for a
rapid expansion of nursing capacity,
which is currently inadequate at all
levels. There is an important opportunity for professional nursing organisations to ensure this area is not neglected.
The expectation of the people of Iraq
for the rapid development of health
services is important and needs to be
*There are 18 governerates within Iraq, each
having a director of health services.
recognised. However, it is unlikely that
these expectations will be met in the
short term. It is also possible that these
aspirations are distorting the donor
response. There is evidence, for example, that funds have been allocated to
the reconstruction of metropolitan hospitals ahead of primary care development.2 This is probably in part attributable to the need to have some highly
visible health projects both for the Iraqi
people and the international media. In
reality Iraq must aim for the health
system of a middle income country in
the short term and leave ambitions for
an expensive technology based service
until a later date. Managing these
expectations and demonstrating important health improvements achieved
through primary care development will
be an important role for public health
practitioners.
A major issue that affects existing
health services and any efforts to
develop them is that of security. While
acknowledging the extreme difficulty
faced by the occupying forces, it is
nevertheless lamentable that health
services were not better protected.16
The maintenance of essential services
is a responsibility of the occupying
powers. A political solution is required
to bring the long term stability required
to fully develop the country’s health
services. Making this link clear to governments and pressing them for action will
be an important advocacy role for health
professionals. The current security situation makes travel to Iraq for expatriates
extremely hazardous and in most cases
inadvisable. Therefore, while not ideal,
most training initiatives for Iraqi health
professionals will need to be done either
remotely or out of country.
Given these pressing needs and the
important
constraints
we
have
described, what is the best way to
support professional colleagues in Iraq?
The FPH International Committee’s
Workshop identified two broad areas
for action: advocacy and technical support. Advocacy from professional organisations can be an important influence
when there is a widespread public
perception that government actions
may be driven more by domestic political considerations than the needs of
the Iraqi people. Particularly in the
period before a democratic government
becomes established in Iraq, advocacy
can be a way of ensuring that the
human rights of the Iraqi population
are given the highest priority by those in
authority. The Faculty of Public Health
and other professional bodies can have
an important role in influencing the
response to postwar Iraq. In particular it
needs to be made clear that there is a
humanitarian duty to ensure that the
www.jech.com
EDITORIALS
892
health of the Iraqi people remains
central. While it remains vital to secure
the broader determinants of health,
such as security, employment, and
water supply, the Iraqi Health Ministry
needs to work with the Interim Iraqi
government with support from the
international community to build a
vision for health sector development.
The FPH needs to join with similar
bodies to lobby governments to ensure
this happens.
In terms of practical support there is a
need for more professional and technical connections. Poor access to journals,
training, and continuing professional
development are key issues for many
Iraqi professionals, many of whom were
trained in the UK. International
exchanges and provision of information
will be important drivers for improvement. However, caution needs to be
exerted. Inappropriate ‘‘study tours’’ to
technology based health systems may
create more dissatisfaction and increase
emigration by professionals from Iraq.
The FPH hope to establish a post to help
carefully coordinate training exchanges
to ensure that they are appropriate.
Exposure to academic training and
service National Health Service work
for short periods will be valuable in
updating public health competencies
and emphasising the centrality of primary care, as well as establishing longer
term supportive partnerships.
Despite the concern that many public
health professionals may have over the
decision to go to war in Iraq, we are now
faced with an important opportunity to
help meet major public health needs.
Within the UK the FPH will provide one
channel for such work, but many more
will be required throughout the world.
2
3
4
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors are grateful to all those who
participated in the International Committee’s
Workshop and to those who reviewed the
paper.
J Epidemiol Community Health
2004;58:890–892.
doi: 10.1136/jech.2003.019216
......................
Authors’ affiliations
A S Furber, School of Health and Related
Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
P Johnstone, Government Office for Yorkshire
and The Humber, Leeds, UK
Correspondence to: Dr A Furber, School of
Health and Related Research, University of
Sheffield, Regent Court, 30 Regent Street,
Sheffield S1 4DA, UK; [email protected]
uk
Funding: none.
Conflicts of interest: none declared.
REFERENCES
1 Farooq S, Guitard I, McCoy D, et al. Continuing
collateral damage: the health and environmental
costs of war on Iraq 2003. Medact, London,
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6
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THE JECH GALLERY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘‘5-a-day’’ may be harder to achieve in more deprived areas
I
ncreasing the public’s intake of fresh fruit
and vegetables is a major public health
objective. Pronounced differences between
social groups in fruit and vegetable intake
have been observed and lack of access may
contribute to patterns of consumption.1 In
our study of socially contrasting localities in
Glasgow, we have noticed differences in
retail outlets that may contribute to lower
consumption of fruit and vegetables in the
more deprived locality.2
Anne Ellaway, Sally Macintyre
MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit,
University of Glasgow, 4 Lilybank Gardens,
Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK
Correspondence to: Dr A Ellaway;
[email protected],
REFERENCES
1 Morland K, Wing S, Roux AD. The contextual
effect of the local food environment on residents’
diets: The atherosclerosis risk in communities
study. Am J Public Health 2002;92:1761–7.
2 Ellaway A, Macintyre S. Does where you live
predict health related behaviours? A case study
in Glasgow. Health Bull 1996;54:443–6.
www.jech.com
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